Saturday, June 09, 2012

Sanjay Joshi exits BJP, party brass hard put to explain

New Delhi: The resignation of controversial Sanjay Joshi from the BJP on Friday has caused much embarrassment to the party brass. There were no clear answers as to why the man who has been at the receiving end of Gujarat chief minister's wrath had to finally exit from the party.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar came prepared for his press briefing to berate prime minister Manmohan Singh's ministerial intiative to get infrastructure projects going worth US $ 1 trillion, without showing how the funds are to be raised, journalists heard him out a little impatiently. When he was done, there was a literal outburst of question with regard to the resignation of controversial general secretary Sanjay Joshi from the party.

Javadekar with a stoic expression read out a brief statement saying that Joshi had written to party president Nitin Gadkari requestiong to be relieved from the party, and that Gadkari has acceded to his request. The spokesman refused to take any more questions on the issue arguing that the statement was self-evident. And he did not spend much time in an informal chat with journalists as he and other spokespersons are in the habit of doing. It was a hot day for party spokespersons because it was a hard thing to explain.

In another part of central Delhi, TV cameras were placed outside 111, North Avenue, the spartan residence of Joshi but Joshi's aides made it clear that he was not going to the media.

The resignation looks like the logical culmination of the beating that Joshi was getting from Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who insisted that he be removed from the national executive for Modi to attend the meeting at Mumbai on May 24 and 25. Gadkari obliged and Joshi resigned from the national executive.

It was then reliably learnt that Modi did not want Joshi to travel back to Delhi in a train because of the plans of some party members to welcome and garland Joshi en route. Joshi was directed to fly back to Delhi.

Then came the poster episode, which seemed to have been put up by Joshi's supporters indirectly hitting out at Modi's tantrums, and it seems to have been the last straw for the Gujarat chief minister.

Joshi's friends have been arguing that Modi is flexing his muscle against a small target like Joshi who is not in the same league as the Gujarat chief minister in the party hierarchy.

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